Re: Study Group concerning Patent in New Area and Competition Policy (Interim Translation)
March 22, 2002
Japan Fair Trade Commission
In order to examine the issues of competition policy related to patent in new area such as business method patent and biotech patent, JFTC established a study group which consists of experts indicated below.
As represented by "business method patent" and "biotech patent", scope of the patent subject matter has tendency to expand through the advancement of technology and the pro-patent policy. The expansion of protection has been also pursued in the area of enforcement by the revision of damage compensation system against infringement and reinforcement of criminal penalty etc.
On one hand, patent system plays an important role for facilitating innovations and technology competition. On the other hand, however, in case that scope of patent protection is too broad, it has a dimension to discourage competitive or posterior R&D and to impede the competition of innovation or technology development and the dissemination of technologies.
From the recognition stated above, [the study group] will discuss aspects of the system of patent in new area, its administration and its enforcement from the standpoint of competition policy.
[Izumi - Assistant Professor of Tokushima University
Okada - Assistant Professor of Hitotsubashi University
Kuranaga - Manager of IP Center of Nippon Telephone and Telegram
Samejima - Attorney at Law and Patent
Sumikura - Assistant Professor of Seisaku Kenkyu Graduate University
Takigawa - Professor of Kansai University
Tanaka - Assistant Professor of Kobe Gaigo University
Hinuki - Professor of Hokkaido University
Hirai - Attorney at Law and Patent
Yamada - Manger of Legal Division of Dai-Nippon Seiyaku
Minami - JPO (Observer)]
3. Main Items
(1) Analysis and discussion of issues regarding grant and exercise of business method patent and biotech patent from competition policy perspective
(i) Issues related to grant of patent
- Issues concerning broadness of the scope, ambiguity and non-substitutability
(ii) Issues regarding enforcement of the right
- Impediments to R&D incentives created by unjust enforcement
(2) Measures, from competition policy perspective, to respond issues indicated above (1)
(i) From Antimonopoly Law perspective
(ii) How the patent system administration should be, etc.
Starting from Wednesday, March 27 of this year, the group will hold meeting approximately once a month. The group plans to produce a report this June.
(Note): Brackets are remarks of translator (Toshiaki Tada)